Forensic Consulting Services

VERTEX is a premier construction claims firm serving contractors, owners, sureties, and insurance carriers on all types of projects from infrastructure to vertical construction. Our claims analysis generally involves an entitlement review, forensic scheduling to identify delay components, damage calculations, and fault allocation analysis.

Entitlement Review

VERTEX’s claim process starts with an entitlement analysis, which requires a review of contract documents, site specifications, construction schedules, and contemporaneous correspondence. In addition, VERTEX typically interviews key personnel to increase our understanding of the facts. VERTEX then determines the nature of the claim issue, whether it involves: Productivity; Acceleration; Differing Site Conditions; Added Scope / Quantum Meruit; Maladministration; Force Majeure; or any other number of claim categories. Once VERTEX has a complete understanding of the facts we offer our support-based opinions.

Damage Calculation

Once VERTEX completes its entitlement review and forensic scheduling evaluation, we move on to our damages analysis. VERTEX draws upon construction cost data from our portfolio of thousands of construction projects, industry standard construction cost data from various software providers such as RSMeans and Xactimate, subcontractor and vendor quotes on certain divisions of work, and actual cost data work already performed. We are experts in providing actual cost claims, estimated cost claims, and total/modified cost claims.

Forensic Scheduling

Many construction claims involve delay damage components. Therefore, VERTEX’s team of forensic schedulers are experts in the use of scheduling software that is commonly used on construction projects. We use this expertise, coupled with our real-world construction experience, to identify durational impacts that caused financial impacts to our clients. Scheduling impacts are often included in claims that involve: Productivity; Acceleration; Differing Site Conditions; Added Scope / Quantum Meruit; Maladministration; Force Majeure; or any other claim categories.

Fault Allocation

In certain instances VERTEX is asked to provide fault allocation opinions once we complete our claim review. In these instances, VERTEX reviews the issues, identifies the duties of the various parties involved in the design and construction of the project, assigns an initial responsibility, and then adjusts the fault allocation to account for patent conditions and follow-up work that covered up defective work, if appropriate.

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Key Personnel

Diana Minchella

Diana Minchella

Executive Vice President, Surety

As an Executive Vice President for VERTEX, Diana Minchella manages the surety claims consulting division nationwide. Ms. Minchella has a strong background in investigating and analyzing construction claims for contractors, owners, sureties and insurance carriers on a variety of projects including commercial, municipal, healthcare, transportation, wastewater treatment and solar facilities. Ms. Minchella has the experience and capabilities to review and defend against construction claims as well as to prepare affirmative claims. Her claims experience has involved construction delays, design defects, owner-initiated changes, unanticipated weather, differing site conditions, disruption, and defective work. As a claims consultant, Ms. Minchella has experience in analyzing schedules and calculating damages.

Ms. Minchella also has a strong background in construction management and civil engineering with an emphasis in structural engineering. As a project manager with VERTEX, Ms. Minchella has provided construction management and consulting services on numerous multi-million-dollar projects throughout the northeast. Many of these projects were distressed and required Ms. Minchella’s experience and leadership to bring the projects to completion. Ms. Minchella is a respected consultant in the surety claims industry.

Ryan Phillips

Ryan Phillips, PE, CCM, CEP, LEED AP, CDT

Executive Vice President, Litigation Support

Ryan Phillips has over a decade of construction management and construction claim experience in the Rocky Mountain Region. Specific expertise includes: surety consulting and project completion, owner’s representation, construction oversight, construction claim analysis and preparation, construction defect cost estimating, liability review for construction defect matters, construction bid package preparation, and cost to complete preparation. As the Executive Vice President of Litigation Support, Mr. Phillips oversees contract claims and other legal consulting requiring environmental, engineering and construction expertise. 

Bill McConnell

Bill McConnell, PE, JD, MSCE, CDT

Chief Executive Officer

Bill McConnell is a co-founder and CEO of The Vertex Companies, Inc. Bill has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Maine, a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Denver, a Master of Science degree from Columbia University, and he is working towards his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado (anticipated graduation in May-2019). Bill also completed a part-time three-year business program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Bill has worked in the construction industry for nearly his entire life. He rose through the ranks from a union construction worker during high school and college summers, to a project engineer at a top 50 construction company, to a senior executive at VERTEX. In addition, Bill is a top expert witness for construction disputes as he has testified over 150 times, most notably for cost and/or standard of care opinions. In addition, many construction, engineering, and law organizations have published his articles and reports over the past two decades. As the CEO of VERTEX, Bill sets the strategy for VERTEX’s future.

News

VERTEX Speaking at Fidelity and Surety Law Spring Conference

May 9, 2019

Several of VERTEX’s team are in Austin, Texas today through Saturday, May 11th, speaking and training as part of the 2019 Fidelity & Surety Law Spring Conference (FSLC). The conference, Complex Construction Issues Facing the Performing Surety, has a heavy construction focus. The speakers include many of FSLC’s most distinguished professionals from companies, law firms,…

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VERTEX at the 2019 West Coast Casualty Construction Defect Seminar

May 9, 2019

From May 9th to the 10th, 2019, The Vertex Companies, Inc. (VERTEX) will be one of many in the construction industry learning and collaborating about the insurance coverage, prosecution, defense, and other specialized topics around the subject of construction claims and litigation.  Learn more about the conference. VERTEX provides consulting to the insurance industry relating…

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VERTEX's Pentucket Middle-High School Project Approved by Voters

May 7, 2019

2019 has been a great year thus far for VERTEX’s Owner’s Project Managers. It was announced yesterday that the three (3) member-towns of the Pentucket Regional School District voted to approve the construction of their new Pentucket Middle-High School. Read News here https://www.prsd.org/apps/news/show_news.jsp?REC_ID=557298&id=0 VERTEX started the process as the District’s Owner’s Project Manager (OPM) in…

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VTX Expands and Promotes Michael J. Cugino to Executive Vice President

May 2, 2019

Michael J. Cugino, Principal Geoscientist, Executive Vice President VTX has expanded its geographic footprint by opening a second Canadian office located in Calgary, Alberta. VTX has been headquartered in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) since 2013. To lead the expansion, Michael J. Cugino, Principal Geoscientist has been promoted to Executive Vice President. As Michael commented,…

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VERTEX's Bill McConnell to Speak at ASC 2019 International Conference

April 11, 2019

On Friday, April 12th, VERTEX CEO, Bill McConnell, will be presenting at the ASC 2019 International Conference along with Carloine Clevenger, Assistant Director of Construction Engineering and Management at University of Colorado Denver. Learn more about VERTEX’s educational partnership with University of Colorado Denver. 2019 Theme: The Business of the Built Environment Join industry professionals who will…

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Blog

Best Practices for Applying the “Measured Mile Method” in Loss-of-Productivity Claims

April 29, 2019

Construction claim practitioners face many challenges in settling productivity claims due to the complexities involved in quantifying damages. Since a worker’s productivity is influenced by an infinite number of factors, discretely measuring the effect of a select impact is impossible. However, methods do exist to estimate loss of efficiency on construction projects – the most…

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What is an Expert Witness and how can they help me?

March 5, 2019

With the continued growth in litigation over the past several years, VERTEX has seen a steady increase in expert consulting work to support our clients. VERTEX has been retained to act on behalf of plaintiffs and defendants in regards to liability and damages. The main goal of expert consulting is to add value to the…

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Notice Provisions in Construction Contracts - What You Need to Know

February 21, 2019

Construction contracts most often require contractors to issue written notice of claims and change orders. The purpose of providing notice in writing of a change or impact is to afford the notified party adequate time to investigate the matter and manage associated risks. In the most basic terms, notice provisions detail what is expected from…

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The Implications of Pacing Delays for Construction Projects

September 26, 2018

What is a pacing delay? A contractor may slow its pace of work after identifying forthcoming owner-caused delays to the critical path. Similarly, an owner may decide to decelerate its rate of production for tasks it is responsible for on the project if it foresees critical path delays which are the fault of the contractor….

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The Challenge of Proving Causation in Construction Productivity Claims

September 20, 2018

What are construction productivity claims?  Construction productivity claims usually involve a contractor’s argument that the actions or inactions of a project party have adversely affected its productivity rate. A claim analyst must gain a thorough understanding of the consequences of those actions or inactions as well as insight into the circumstances under which the claim…

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